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Why Security is a focus for 2016: A CEO’s perspective

By Laurence Baynham, Chief Executive Officer, Data#3

Security was the number one technology priority for Australian IT and business professionals in 20151, and it is here to stay for 2016 with increasing importance. Security has not only become a priority for CIOs, it has become a standing agenda item for many Governments and Company Boards.

Companies need to ensure that they have a secure corporate environment, while enabling an agile and mobile workforce. The key to success, is a careful balance between innovation, risk, and economic reality.

The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow exponentially, the mobile workforce has become a necessity rather than choice and Cloud, in particular Public Cloud, is being implemented to cut costs and streamline efficiencies. Faced with complex IT environments, IT departments are operating in increasingly diverse regulatory jurisdictions. They need to create a suitable security strategy in line with these changes in order to enjoy the benefits of these new technologies and concepts, while considering the risks.

In 2016, the Internet of Things (IoT) will have a huge impact. Devices will continue to grow in volume and variety, and the forecast for connected devices by 2020 is now 200 billion and climbing.2 As the number of work related devices and technology per person increases, so will the requirement for innovative corporate security measures to be put in place. Companies will need to ensure data protection across increasingly broader environments.

Let’s face it. Facilitating a mobile workforce is no longer a choice, it’s happening whether CEOs and IT departments like it or not. The boundaries between home and work have become blurred, and will continue as employees access data from private devices, smartphones, tablets, wearable devices, non-approved Cloud-based applications…the list goes on. Security will become a major challenge as more company information is accessed through these multitude of avenues.

The Australian market has been rapidly maturing in the Cloud arena and in particular, Public Cloud. Cloud-based solutions are now being implemented to solve business challenges. Companies need to maintain transparency and regain control over their data. Cloud solutions and security will go hand in hand, and should be considered and implemented simultaneously.

Cybersecurity incidents are already occurring on a regular basis, with many large corporations already significantly impacted by cybercrime. Company Boards are quite rightly asking more questions to manage risk more effectively.

The reality is, traditional approaches to security are no longer effective. Boards and CEOs cannot simply put their heads in the sand and hope the requirement will dissipate. Companies need to allocate appropriate budget to identify and assess the key security threats facing their business, and put a security and risk mitigation strategy in place that is personalised, yet based on best practice standards, agile and continuously evolving.

Security should play a pivotal role in company strategies from the top down, from Board level policy to people, culture and technical controls. While stringent industry security best practice standards exist, as all companies are different, there is no rule or one size fits all approach. The challenge is finding the right people, with the right expertise and skills to provide cost effective delivery of security advice and outcomes.

Finding the right company to partner with will be instrumental to success, and will allow IT departments to deliver core strategic outcomes. Gartner suggests that ‘By 2019, total enterprise spending on security outsourcing services will be 80% of the spending on security software and hardware products, up from 50% in 2015.’3

Stay tuned, our Security Experts will also be releasing a series of blogs over the coming months, exploring some of the topics I’ve mentioned in more detail.


Learn more about our security solutions.

To see our security experts present in person, register to attend our flagship event, JuiceIT 2016.

1 Based on 672 responses from IT and business professionals as part of a Data#3 survey conducted to gain insight into their 2015 business priorities.

2 McAfee Labs. (2016). 2016 Threats Predictions.

3 Gartner. (December 2015). Predicts 2016: Security Solutions.

Tags: Cloud, Enterprise Mobility, Mobility, Security

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